Optimization of a Boomerang shape using modeFRONTIER

Rosario Russo and Alberto Clarich (Esteco Spa), Enrico Nobile and Carlo Poloni (Università di Trieste)

Achieving best performances for a product need first of all to define the metrics of the performances and design options. Once these are clear modeFRONTIER can drive the simulation software to high end result.

A boomerang is a flying object quite simple in shape but challenging in the physics:

  • 6 degree of freedom body dynamics
  • aerodynamics of rotational blades
  • uncertainty in the performance of the launching athlete

Automating the simulation process that integrate CAD system, sophisticated CFD and multibody dynamics we have designed, by hierarchical optimization, a product that is easy to use:

  • minimum energy for the launcher
  • fly the longest possible trajectory
  • comes back even with some variations of the launching conditions

To steer the complete process of optimization, from variables variation to performance evaluation, modeFRONTIER is coupled to Catia v5 software for geometry modification and mass properties evaluation, to MATLAB for dynamic simulation, and to the CFD tool Star-CCM+ for aerodynamic analysis. In addition, dedicated RSM (Response Surfaces Methods), available in modeFRONTIER, are used to extrapolate the aerodynamic coefficients as a function of the angle of incidence and velocity, as required by the dynamic model, through a reduced number of CFD analyses (database) for each geometric configuration. Different design simulations are executed automatically by modeFRONTIER following a dedicated optimization strategy, until the optimal configuration of the boomerang is found. A 3D printer for a precise construction of the mold, some carbon fibers, a sunny day and a wide lawn allowed the successful experimental tests.